Chris Reed is back with a special edition of The Breakdown looking at the Raiders most recent free agent
The Raiders added two free agents on Thursday signing one-year deals with former Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall and Jets running back Isaiah Crowell. Things can change quickly once the draft gets here but as the roster is currently constructed, both look to have a good opportunity to secure starting roles.
Let’s jump into their game film to get an idea of what kind of contribution each could make in 2019.
General Manager Mike Mayock was able to lock up the 29-year old veteran on a one-year $4.1 million dollar deal which could end up looking like a steal. In his seven years, Marshall has tallied 307 solo tackles, 6.5 sacks, four forced fumbles, and picked off two passes. Marshall also brings a championship pedigree having played in both a Super
That experience will be helpful as he will undoubtedly be asked to take a leadership role on the defense. Of course, he isn’t being signed for what he has done or to coach linebackers. Head coach Jon Gruden is looking for production. What Marshall provides is a viable option on any down and has shown he can hold up in man coverage.
Oakland’s need for a versatile linebacker that can hold his own in coverage has been a recurring theme every offseason. Marshall should solve that even though it will most likely be as another one-year stop gap. With Guenther’s experience coaching up linebackers, the one year trend may continue.
Joining the silver and black on a one-year $2.5 million dollar deal of his own, 26-year-old running back Isaiah Crowell. The former New York Jet and Cleveland Brown has racked up 3,803 yards on 880 attempt for a 4.3 yards per carry average. He has struck pay dirt 27 times on the ground including this 77 yard run. He would average 14.6 yards while running for 219 yards and this score against the Raiders hated rival, the Denver Broncos.
What makes him a good fit for Gruden’s offense is his versatility in the passing game. He has hauled in 117 of the 159 targets for a 73.5% completion percentage. Crowell is sitting at 922 yards and one receiving touchdown but could see plenty of opportunities this season as the wide receiver group occupies coverage. He could be a good fit for the “Charlie Garner” role in this offense.
These two signings aren’t blockbusters as evidenced by their one-year contract focus. Both veterans fill much-needed needs heading into the 2019 campaign. Those contracts should act to motivate Marshall and Crowell for bigger deals next year.
They both look like they will have the opportunities to do just that.